Communities in Schools
CIS of Greater Tarrant County
Maintaining a singular focus to keep kids in school has been an effective strategy for the national nonprofit organization Communities In Schools (“CIS”), which currently boasts a 99% stay-in-school rate for at-risk students who participate in the program. With an internal motto of “whatever it takes,” the CIS team tailors a plan to address each child’s individual needs so they can overcome obstacles, excel in school, and establish a foundation for a brighter future.
CIS’ approach is as impressive as its results. The organization serves 1.3 million students nationally. Locally, CIS employs only licensed social workers who are specially trained to deal with the difficult mental, emotional, and physical hardships sustained by many of the at-risk children they serve. Before any counseling begins, CIS social workers engage in an in-home assessment with each child’s caretakers, a critical step to building trust and establishing shared goals and expectations. CIS then develops a case management plan focused on connecting students and their families to local resources and service, to meet their unique needs.
The demand for CIS continues to grow, as evidenced by a waiting list of area schools seeking to partner with CIS to serve their at-risk students. Once CIS partners with a school, a full-time CIS team member occupies an office on-site at the school for the entire academic year. This enables CIS social workers to become true members of the school team and build meaningful relationships with the program’s students.
In Tarrant County, CIS began in only two schools, impacting about 200 students. Today, CIS has expanded into 46 schools, serving over 30,000 students in Fort Worth and its surrounding communities. A “Report Card” for CIS of Greater Tarrant County’s 2013-2014 school year reveals more encouraging statistics for its program participants, including:
- 80% improved grades
- 92% improved behavior
- 93% promoted to the next grade level
- 97% graduation rate
- 81% post-secondary enrollment
CIS’ purpose, implementation, and results make it a model partner for The Miles Foundation. The Miles Foundation is proud to support CIS of Greater Tarrant County in its ongoing efforts to propel students on a positive path in school and in life.